Giving To Gain
“Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel’s will save it." Mark 8:34-35 Is there any loss in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ? For many, fear of loss is the reason someone stays away from the commitment of his life to Jesus Christ. Is he afraid he'll be sent to some foreign jungle as a missionary? Or is it that he just cannot give up some sin that brings him pleasure? Most often though, it's that he demands to be his own lord over his own life, the captain of his own ship, and he absolutely does not want to surrender to another, not even to God. So then ...after spending his life serving himself, he should not to expect to go with Jesus when he dies. Jesus will say to him, "Depart from me, I never knew you." (Matthew 7:23) Is there any loss in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ? Well that depends on how you define loss. What is loss? Loss in the life of a believer can be the giving up of something now, for a better future. What man does not prepare for his retirement? I've known people who have spent their entire working years preparing for a well-funded retirement, only to die shortly after they reach it. How much more sense does it make to spend one's life preparing for eternity? In the world, loss can be permanent - but In God's economy, loss can be an investment. It's never lost, it's rewarded and multiplied beyond measure, whether here or in the life to come, or both. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." -Jim Elliot Jim Elliot was a missionary, and he was murdered for his faith. Now ...if you were in heaven and happened upon Jim Elliot today, if you were to ask him about the loss he suffered, you wouldn't see tears streaming down his face, you would see the brilliant glow of a man whose loss led to an eternal reward far greater than ever his loss was on earth. No, there is no loss in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. Whatever is stolen from us here will be more than multiplied to us in eternity, and that's a guarantee. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 But it's not only for the world to come. We have promises for this life on earth also: "And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 God takes into account all that happens to his children, and works things in such a way that it will all turn out for the good - in fact, the good will not simply replace the bad, the good will so far out-weigh the bad as to make it astonishing. No, there is no real loss on this earth, but instead - a glorious reward that will last for eternity. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 The Word of God tells us that each one of us was planned before the very foundation of the earth. You are no accident, you were planned. And he who planned you created in you all that you are, your personality, your gifts and talents, your interests, even your preferences. In other words, you were perfectly fitted for God's plan for your life. If the thought of going to preach the Gospel in some foreign jungle sends shivers up your spine, that only means that you weren't called to do something like that, otherwise you'd be very interested in it. No, what God plans for your life is perfectly suited to the way he made you, and should you walk in that plan, it will be the most satisfying thing you could ever hope for. For now. And for eternity. Don't miss it.